Grocery stores caught charging wrong prices for everyday staples including coffee and crisps - see full list of items

8 May 2024, 18:11

Supermarkets have been warned they must start selling items at the appropriate price levels
Supermarkets have been warned they must start selling items at the appropriate price levels. Picture: CMA/GovUK
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Grocery stores in Britain have been caught charging the wrong prices for staple items, including coffee, washing machine pods and fizzy drinks.

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Research conducted by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) shows that some retailers have been displaying inaccurate prices - or even failing to provide prices all together.

Most of the stores that were identified were independent or smaller shops operating under a larger brand name.

Around 60 per cent of the errors led to customers being charged at a higher price than necessary, the watchdog found.

This amounts to a breach of consumer law.

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Coffee pods being charged above the correct price
Coffee pods being charged above the correct price. Picture: CMA
Fizzy drinks being charged at the wrong price
Fizzy drinks being charged at the wrong price. Picture: CMA/GOV UK

A campaign is being launched to help grocery stores understand how to comply with the law.

The CMA's interim executive director for consumer protection and markets, George Lusty, said: "We know how frustrating it can be when you get to the till only to find the price doesn't match what was advertised.

"While lots of grocery retailers - particularly supermarkets - are complying with pricing rules, this needs to consistently be the case across all types of stores.

He continued: "It's important that shoppers can make well-informed choices based on accurate information, especially at a time when lots of people are looking to save money.

"That's why we are reminding businesses of the importance of complying with consumer law."

Full list of items affected

Ariel washing machine pods
Ariel washing machine pods. Picture: CMA

Fusilli Pasta 500g - Displayed (£1.20); Charged (£1.35)

Kellogg’s Variety Pack - Displayed (£2.49); Charged (£3.15)

Long grain rice - Displayed (£1.99); Charged (£1.60)

Coconut Milk 400ml - Displayed (£2.45); Charged (£2)

Hotdog rolls (pack of 4) - Displayed (£1.40); Charged (£2.09)

Marmite 250g - Displayed (£2.85); Charged (£4.19)

Onions (pack of 3) - Displayed (£1.00); Charged (£1.0

Crisps 45g - Displayed (£1.80); Charged (£2.50)

Soft White Medium Bread - Displayed (£1.59); Charged (£1.55)

Kellogg's Rice Crispie Squares (Pack of 4) Any Two for - Displayed (£3.50); Charged (£3.98)

Vegetable Cubes - Displayed (£2.00); Charged (£1.79)

Maltesers Box 110g - Displayed (£1.59); Charged (£2.75)